News-Press Sunday 3/8/15 Bike Safety Feature: Paths of peril
Janine Zeitlin, Melanie Payne and Laura Ruane firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
Each Southwest Florida bike death is a different, heartbreaking story...this is Jim Reif's story
James H. Reif, 62
Crash date: April 6, 2014
|Jim Reif (photo: News-Press)|
Samantha Syoen, communications director at the state attorney's office, worked for many years with Jim Reif at Waterman Broadcasting. She was an executive producer and Reif was the director of meteorology.
"He was very into weather," Syoen said. "You could ask him a simple question: 'Is it going to rain?' And he would not only tell you about the rain but he'd talk about the clouds and El Niño…It was fun to hear him talk."
Reif worked at three of the four local TV stations. Glenn Schwartz, a former WINK meteorologist and Reif's longtime friend and colleague, told a News-Press reporter that weather was not Reif's only love. He was a Philadelphia Phillies fan, world traveler and a pilot. He had recently become engaged to a woman he had known in college and reconnected with 40 years later.
Reif was also a bike rider. While riding down Ben Hill Griffin Parkway on April 6, he lost control of his bike, hit a road sign and then the curb. The crash caused several fractured ribs and bruised and scraped Reif's arms and legs, injuries that were not serious.
The Medical Examiner determined Reif's death was caused by "craniocerebral trauma" when he fell off the bike and hit his head. Reif was not wearing a helmet.